When you prepare for parenthood, you think of first steps, first words, riding a bike, first day at school and a future full of exciting moments. What you don't prepare for are MRIs, lumbar punctures, tube feeding, endless appointments with doctors, physios, OTs and an uncertain future.
Following an emergency section and resuscitation at birth, Joanne and her family started the scary journey of diagnosis, treatment and acceptance.
"We left the hospital with our special and very complex little boy and our joy at finally getting home to be a family was short-lived when we realised how lonely this journey would be.
"Months of bewilderment, anxiety and - to be honest - depression followed. Not being sure where to turn for advice, support and guidance wasn't fun. Then we discovered Charlie House and the team. Suddenly we met people who knew where we were and what we needed which made us feel a lot less lonely."
"Since then we have managed to provide a better life for Rory, finding the right support for him and us. We have made some amazing friends who are in our position, so understand the challenges. We have done activities that we would never have dreamed possible with Rory and had the opportunity to go on trips which opened our eyes to the possibilities for families like ours.
"We have accepted that the future for Rory is a short one, but Charlie House is helping us to create great memories which we will cherish forever."
"On a personal note, it's not always taking part and calling for support, it's just the comfort of knowing that it's there. Our daughter Mollie has had a lot of support from Leigh, the Charlie House Children & Family Support Manager, and now when she is having a difficult time, we ask her whether she just needs a hug or to talk to Leigh. In her mind, it lets her work out whether it's a big or small deal.
"For families like ours, that kind of support is a lifeline."
By donating a small amount, you can make a BIG difference to lives of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, and their families, in North-east Scotland.
£10 could offer a child the gift of joy through a fun activity like music therapy
£30 could create lasting memories for siblings and grant them access to invaluable peer support
£50 could offer emotional support to a family member when they need it most